What we measure

A poll by YouGov in the UK has found that 8 out of 10 people would prefer the government to prioritise health and wellbeing over economic growth during the COVID crisis, and 6 out of 10 still want the government to pursue health and wellbeing over economic growth after the crisis is over.

Out of a storm, a bushfire, a pandemic, there are positives to be found.

If one of the positives from this experience is that we throw into the compost of history the use of GDP growth as the arbiter of society’s success, then this is a good thing.

Even a child knows that unlimited growth on a finite planet is not possible.

The time has come where working long and hard to profit the few for some future hope of retirement to enjoy life, at the cost along the way of our health and wellbeing…. To be encouraged to go shopping, to consume more as the impulse behind an economy’s success, is a price too high.

When a crisis hits, we are reminded, often painfully, that what matters most are simple things. Time with family and friends, in nature, good food, being healthy, hugging….and these things, the basics of life, are not negotiable.

A society’s well-being, our health, our happiness, our access to opportunity, to quality education and honest government are the foundational architecture of a good life.

When we make money and its growth the God of our actions, absent deep consideration of other elements of wellbeing, then we give everyone and everything a price. 

This is how we debase life.

Beauty, love, connection, health, learning, community, family…reduced to a dollar value. At what consequence? 

Let us emerge from this experience insisting we measure our success very differently.

Increased well-being for all might be a place to commence.

May 12 2020

Photo taken May 1st, 2020